The skilled worker visa allows individuals from overseas to come to the UK if they have an offer of an eligible job. The offer will be from an employer who holds a sponsor licence, authorising them to issue the certificate of sponsorship that you will need to secure a visa.
At Halliday Reeves, we specialise in immigration law and represent individuals applying for skilled worker visas. As well as a high level of expertise in the complex area of immigration law, we are known for the exceptional standards of service we provide to our clients.
If you ask us to deal with your skilled worker visa application, we will draft the strongest possible application and ensure that all of the necessary documents are included in support.
We will go through the eligibility criteria with you, advise you on how to deal with any potential issues in your application and answer any questions you may have. We can also discuss other relevant points such as how long you can stay in the UK and how your family can join you.
To speak to one of our expert immigration solicitors, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at email@example.com or fill in our Make An Online Enquiry.
“Good service, I made application for skilled worker visa and later for ILR, both are successful, quick replies. Amazing job!”
Our Skilled Worker Visa Services
We offer a full range of immigration services in respect of skilled worker visas, including:
- Advice on eligibility
- Drafting your skilled worker visa application
- Compiling the right documents in support of your application
- Drafting an application to renew a skilled worker visa
- Help with your visa if you change jobs or change employer
- Switching to a skilled worker visa
- Skilled worker visa rejections
- Advice on bringing family to the UK
- Advice on staying in the UK
Eligibility For A Skilled Worker Visa
To be eligible for a skilled worker visa, your potential employer must hold a sponsor licence. This is confirmation that the Home Office has approved them to take on overseas workers.
If they offer you a job, they should issue you with a certificate of sponsorship. This will include information about the job, which needs to be a position included on the government’s list of eligible occupations, available on the government’s website.
The position should have a minimum salary that is the highest out of:
- £25,600 per year
- £10.10 per hour
- The ‘going rate’ for the type of work
You will also need to show that you have the minimum standard of English required. This is generally done by taking a secure English language test, unless you hold a degree that was taught in English.
“We would like to thank you for all your hard work and help in obtaining a Tier 2 Visa for myself and my family. Your support is greatly appreciated. The service we received has been excellent and all the team members are very professional”
Applying For A Skilled Worker Visa
You can apply for a skilled worker visa up to three months before the start date of your new job. It can take time to deal with the verification of your identity and the processing of your application, so you are advised to start as soon as possible.
It is advisable to check your application very thoroughly as it is likely to be rejected if mistakes are made or the right evidence is not included and you would then experience a delay if you have to try and rectify matters or submit a fresh application.
If you would like our help in drafting your application and ensuring that all of the necessary documents are included, we will be happy to hear from you. We can put together the right paperwork in support, giving you the best likelihood of success in securing a visa.
Completing The Skilled Worker Visa Application Form
The skilled worker application process is dealt with online. You can apply from outside of the UK or, if you already hold a valid visa and you are living in the UK, from inside the UK. Your partner and children can be included if they are eligible.
Proving Your Identity
You will need to prove your identity. This can be by attending a visa application centre in your location or for those within the UK by using the UK Immigration: ID Check app or by attending a biometric centre. You will need to supply your identity documents, which will include your passport or other valid photographic travel identity document.
If you go to a visa application centre, your photo and fingerprints will be taken and you can be issued with a biometric residence permit.
Documents To Accompany Skilled Worker Visa Application
Your application will need to include documents proving that you meet all of the criteria. This includes:
- Certificate of sponsorship reference number which is on the certificate of sponsorship issued by your employer
- Evidence that you have a sufficient standard of English, which could be by passing a secure English language test from an approved provider or holding a degree taught in English by an approved provider.
- A valid passport or similar document showing your identity and nationality
- Details of your job title and how much you will be paid
- The occupation code of the job you will be doing
- Your employer’s name and sponsor licence number which is also on the certificate of sponsorship
You may have to provide other documents in support of your application, such as:
- Proof that you meet the minimum income requirement, unless your employer will be supporting you and has confirmed that they will do this on your certificate of sponsorship
- Details of any relevant qualifications you are relying on
- Documentary evidence of your relationship with your partner or children if they are also applying to come to the UK
- Tuberculosis test results if you are from an affected country
You must supply a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
There could be other documentation that will be required, depending on your circumstances. If you are not sure what to send, you are strongly advised to speak to an immigration solicitor as your application is likely to be refused or rejected if you do not include the right paperwork.
If you ask us to represent you, we will be able to put together the right documents in support of your skilled worker visa application, reducing the risk of rejection and ensuring your application is dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Skilled Worker Visa Fees And Healthcare Charge
When you apply for a skilled worker visa, you will need to include the fee. This is generally £624 if you are applying from outside of the UK and wish to stay for up to three years.
If you want to stay for longer than three years, the fee is £1,235.
If your job is on the shortage occupation list, for example, many healthcare and education roles, the fee is reduced.
Each applicant needs to pay an application fee and is also required to pay a healthcare surcharge, which is usually £624 for each year you will be in the UK.
You must also prove that you have a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account, with additional amounts necessary for your partner and children, if they are also applying.
How Long Does A Skilled Worker Visa Last?
If you are working in the UK on a skilled worker visa, you may need to renew it.
If you are working for your employer under a skilled worker visa, you need to ensure that it does not expire. If it does, your right to live and work in the UK will be affected. Your status as an overstayer could also cause difficulties if you try to obtain another visa.
How Long Does A Skilled Worker Visa Last?
A skilled worker visa can last for up to five years and then needs to be extended. If your partner and children also have visas, they will need to apply separately to extend them.
How Do I Know When My Skilled Worker Visa Will Expire?
You should not rely on the immigration authorities or your employer to tell you when your skilled worker visa expiry date is approaching. The Home Office does not contact workers to advise them that their visa is coming to an end and your employer is not required to advise you of this either.
You will need to check your visa yourself. Your biometric residence permit should also state when your visa expires.
When Should I Take Action To Extend A Skilled Worker Visa?
It is advisable to start work to renew your skilled worker visa several months before the expiry date. This will give you enough time to put together the documents that will be needed in support of your application and to deal with any requests for information that you may receive, as it can take the authorities four months to process an application.
How Do I Extend A Skilled Worker Visa?
As the expiry date approaches, you can apply to extend your visa or, if you have lived and worked in the UK for five years, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
To qualify for an extension, you must still be employed by the same employer and be in the same occupation with the same occupation code. If your job or your employer has changed, you will need to apply for a new visa instead of extending your existing one.
You will also need to obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer confirming that they will be employing you for the extension period. Your salary must continue to meet the minimum salary requirements. This will generally be either £25,600 per year or the going rate for your occupation. In some cases, the minimum salary is lower, for example if you are working in a position with a shortage of workers, you are under 26 or you have a PhD in a STEM subject.
The government aims to provide a decision on your application within 8 weeks, although at busy times this increases and can be 16 weeks. You may be able to pay extra to have a faster decision.
Going From A Skilled Worker Visa To Indefinite Leave To Remain
If you want to move to the UK permanently, then you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after you have lived in country for five years.
You will need to provide evidence that you have been resident in the UK continuously for the period, with no more than 180 days away from the UK in any year.
It is still necessary to be employed by the same employer and meet the minimum salary requirements. You will also need to pass the Life in the UK test.
Skilled Worker Case Study:
We were instructed by a tier 2 migrant to represent her for her switch to a Skilled worker visa.
The client initially approached us by submitting a free enquiry to our general line asking if she could make an application for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 2 Migrant or whether she should switch from Tier 2 to Skilled worker/Global talent instead.
After taking further information from the client, we set up an advice session and advised the client that she would not be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain, despite having completed five years in the UK as a tier 2 migrant, as she was about to hand in her notice with her current employer and a requirement for settlement as a tier 2 migrant is that the employer ‘requires the applicant to work for them for the foreseeable future’.
The client further instructed us to prepare her application for an in-country switch to Skilled worker migrant (after advising her that the Global talent visa would be more cumbersome to acquire as she had not yet been endorsed by an appropriate body).
We sent the client a document checklist of evidence required, prepared the application and agreed to submit within 4 working days of receipt of all required evidence in comparison to our usual 10 working days timescale as the client required her BRP card prior to commencing her new employment as a condition of being offered the new position.
We promptly booked a biometric appointment for our client to attend 2 working days after submission and uploaded all evidence ready for her to attend the appointment.
Our client received her decision 36 working days after the biometric appointment.
Contact Our Skilled Worker Visa Solicitors
If you need a skilled worker visa and would like help in submitting a robust application, please give us a call.
We have offices in Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Wakefield and Nottingham.
To speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers, ring us on 0330 133 7777, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Make An Online Enquiry.
“Halliday Reeves has consistently provided a professional, thorough and efficient service in all immigration matters that we have had to address for our business. Conduct and confidentiality has been paramount at all times. Our business needs will require an ongoing service from Halliday Reeves. We will have no hesitation in using their services again.”
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